Round 7 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship gets underway at the undulating parkland circuit at Donington in the UK tomorrow (Friday), and there is more happening across the weekend than ever before. With the new WorldSBK schedule of Race 1 on Saturday and Race 2 on Sunday meaning there more even more fan activities, Donington also boasts a different timetable for Round 7 in 2016, with both races seeing lights out at 15:00 local time (GMT +1).
During the whole weekend at Donington, fans with any ticket can enjoy the Open Paddock onFriday, Saturday and Sunday, getting closer to the WorldSBK action than ever before. With home heroes leading the points table as Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies fight for supremacy on the track, the Open Paddock is a truly unique opportunity for UK racing fans to get up close and personal with their idols.
Friday sees track action begin at 9:15am with STK1000 first out on the circuit, before WorldSBK at 10:15 and WorldSSP 11:30 to get the practice sessions of the weekend underway. Friday sessions for World Superbike and World Supersport decide entry to their respective Tissot-Superpole shootouts on Saturday, with every minute on the track maximized for every rider to find the perfect setup ahead of the Races.
Throughout the weekend, the Paddock Show has live commentary from the host, plus guest commentators for many of the sessions, providing another exciting way to keep up to date with everything happening on the track. On Friday, the Paddock Show hosts a local riders Chat Show at 12:30pm as one of the big attractions of the day, before the Leading Riders of the Day show kicks off after action on the circuit has concluded, with the fastest men from Friday dropping in to talk about their day on track. A special show thereafter at 17:00, called “Chat with a Champ”, is unique to Donington, and sees Alex Lowes, Leon Camier, Josh Brookes and Luke Stapleford all take part in the one off show.
Saturday dawns early with World Superbike leading the charge at 9:00 for the 15 minute FP3, giving riders their last chance to refine their setups before the Superpole qualifying session at 11:15. WorldSSP follow their more powerful contemporaries out on track for their FP3, before the World Supersport Tissot-Superpole session begins at 12:15. At the Paddock Show, a special focusing on New Faces in the paddock begins at 13:00, before the first Pit Walk of the weekend begins at 13:45. A Meet & Greet at the Paddock Show with STK1000 riders ramps up the action ahead of lights out for WorldSBK Race 1 at 15:00, before a MOTUL Race Chat prefaces the WorldSSP Qualifying Show at 16:15. In addition to the fastest riders of the day in World Supersport, including the fastest local rider, WorldSBK legend Carl Fogarty will also be present at the extra-special edition. Then, at 16:45, the fastest men in WorldSBK Race 1 head over to the Paddock Show, as well as the polesitter and the Pirelli Best Lap winner.
The action isn’t over there as 17:15 sees the beginning of a party in the paddock, with all riders invited to the Paddock Show to enjoy it. The party will also prove a great warm up session for what begins at 18:00, as the CIA Landlord Insurance Honda team take to the stage in concert – a unique opportunity to see something a little different in the paddock, sure to be a great party to end Day 2 at Donington Park.
Sunday sees the first track action begin at 9:00 as on Saturday, with WorldSSP the first bikes heading out to test conditions in their Warm Up. After STK1000 and WorldSBK have headed out on track, the Paddock Show hosts a WorldSSP Meet & Greet at 10:10, an incredible opportunity to meet the best of the World Supersport grid as Sofuoglu, Cluzel, Krummenacher and many more stop by to meet fans.
The European Junior Cup race kicks off the racing at 10:30, before at 11:00, the cream of the WorldSBK crop come to the Paddock Show for their Meet & Greet, giving fans an incredible opportunity to get up close and personal with superstars of the paddock like Nicky Hayden, Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies, among many more. As the excitement starts to build ahead of the racing later in the day, the second Pit Walk of the weekend begins at the same time – 11:00 – giving fans another intimate glimpse into the world of World Superbike behind the scenes.
The World Supersport grid head out to do battle at 12:00 in the new one-off schedule for Donington Park, with local heroes fighting the podium regulars for some home glory over the 20 lap race of the parkland track. STK1000 then head out for their first contest since Imola as the series returns to the WorldSBK paddock, with lights out at 13:15. The top 3 from STK1000 thereafter join the top riders from the EJC race at the Paddock Show at 14:00, before Race 2 for WorldSBK sees the grid line up for lights out at 15:00.
The second WorldSBK Race is sure to be another incredible contest, with data and results from Race 1 analysed, changes made and the weather a changeable factor too, with the new WorldSBK format meaning that overnight conditions could be very different between one race and the next. At 16:00 after the final flag has dropped on the WorldSBK race, the WorldSSP Race show then kicks off at the Paddock Show with the fastest of the day, before 16:30 gives fans the final chance to come face to face with their heroes as the quickest men from Race 2 go to the Paddock Show for the last time at the #UKWorldSBK Round; sure to be a fantastic send off for another incredible weekend of racing at one of Europe’s most historic venues.
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